53991751

Minutes, 24 February 1834

the hands of our enemies8

JS had on multiple occasions instructed Missouri church members to retain their Jackson County lands. On 18 August 1833, he told Missouri church leaders that “it is the will of the Lord that . . . not one foot of land perchased should be given to the enimies of God or sold to them.” He reiterated this counsel to Edward Partridge on 5 December 1833: “I would inform you that it is not the will of the Lord for you to sell your Lands in Zion if means can possably be procured for their sustenance without.” In addition, a 16–17 December 1833 revelation stated, “Therefore it is my will that my people should claim and hold claim upon that which I have appointed unto them though they should not be permited to dwell thereon.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833; Letter to Edward Partridge, 5 Dec. 1833; Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:99].)  


except a piece owned by bro. Wm. E. Mc.Lellin

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

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of thirty acres which he sold into the hands of the enemy, and seven acres more which he would have sold to the enemy if a brother had not come forward & purchased it and paid him his money9

On 14 December 1833, McLellin sold nearly seven acres, which he had purchased on 15 August 1833, in Jackson County to James Newberry, a member of the church, for eighty-five dollars. This land was located just west of Independence, Missouri. Where the other thirty acres were located is not clear, as there is no extant record of McLellin making another sale in late 1833 or early 1834. Part of the land may have been two lots off of Independence’s Main Street that McLellin had purchased in 1832 after moving to Jackson County. (Jackson Co., MO, Deed Records, 1827–1909, vol. C, p. 34, 14 Dec. 1833, microfilm 1,017,979, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 593; Jackson Co., MO, Deed Records, 1827–1909, vol. B, pp. 328–329, 15 Aug. 1833, microfilm 1,017,978, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; William E. McLellin, Jackson Co., MO, to Samuel McLellin, Carthage, TN, 4 Aug. 1832, in Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 83.)  


Bro. Joseph then arose and said that he was going to Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
to assist in redeeming it. He then called for the voice of the Council

A governing body of twelve high priests. The first high council was organized in Kirtland, Ohio, on 17 February 1834 “for the purpose of settling important difficulties which might arise in the church, which could not be settled by the church, or the bishop...

View Glossary
to sanction his going which was given without a dissenting voice. He then called for volunteers to go with him, when some thirty or forty volunteered to go who were then present at the council.10

Even though this meeting was a meeting of the high council, other church members apparently attended. At the formation of the high council on 17 February 1834, nine high priests, seventeen elders, four priests, and thirteen “private members” were present. High priests, elders, priests, teachers, and “private members” also attended a 19 February high council meeting. (Minutes, 17 Feb. 1834; Minutes, 19 Feb. 1834.)  


It was a question whether we should go by water or by land, and after a short investigation it was decided unanimously that we go by land.11

Because traveling by water was faster than traveling by land, it is unclear why the meeting attendees would have decided to travel by land. It is possible they made this decision in order to save money. A guidebook from the 1830s stated that to get from Cleveland to Cincinnati (presumably by water) would cost roughly four and a half to six cents per person per mile. Then, traveling from Cincinnati to Louisville by steamboat would cost three dollars, and from Louisville to St. Louis would cost twelve dollars per person. Such costs could be prohibitive, especially for a large group. In addition, an August 1831 revelation had told JS and a group of elders traveling from Independence to Kirtland that “there are many dangers upon the waters” and that “it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters but he that is upright in heart.” ([Baird], View of the Valley of the Mississippi, 363; Revelation, 12 Aug. 1831 [D&C 61:4, 16].)  


Joseph Smith Jun. was nominated and seconded to be the Commander in Chief of the Armies of Israel

A group of approximately 205 men and about 20 women and children led by JS to Missouri, May–July 1834, to redeem Zion by helping the Saints who had been driven from Jackson County, Missouri, regain their lands; later referred to as “Zion’s Camp.” A 24 February...

View Glossary
and the leader of those who volunteered to go and assist in the redemption of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
,12

An August 1833 article in the Painesville Telegraph hinted that the Mormons in Jackson County might be aided by a church military force: “We learn that some Davids or Goliaths are to be dispatched immediately by the prophet to the relief of the brethren in the wilderness.” William E. McLellin, who was living in Missouri at this time and who was not present at this high council meeting, later recounted that Lyman Wight “was fully imbued with the war spirit, and inspired Smith and company with the idea of redeeming Zion, viz the Church of Zion with men of War!!” (Report, Painesville [OH] Telegraph, 16 Aug. 1833, [3]; McLellin, “Some of My Thoughts in 1878,” [5], underlining in original.)  


and carried by the vote of all present. Council then adjourned by prayer and thanksgiveing.
Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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and)
C’lks.
Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
)
[p. 42]
the hands of our enemies8

JS had on multiple occasions instructed Missouri church members to retain their Jackson County lands. On 18 August 1833, he told Missouri church leaders that “it is the will of the Lord that . . . not one foot of land perchased should be given to the enimies of God or sold to them.” He reiterated this counsel to Edward Partridge on 5 December 1833: “I would inform you that it is not the will of the Lord for you to sell your Lands in Zion if means can possably be procured for their sustenance without.” In addition, a 16–17 December 1833 revelation stated, “Therefore it is my will that my people should claim and hold claim upon that which I have appointed unto them though they should not be permited to dwell thereon.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833; Letter to Edward Partridge, 5 Dec. 1833; Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:99].)  


except a piece owned by bro. Wm.  E. Mc.Lellin

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

View Full Bio
of thirty acres which he sold into the hands of  the enemy, and seven acres more which he would have  sold to the enemy if a brother had not come forward &  purchased it and paid him his money9

On 14 December 1833, McLellin sold nearly seven acres, which he had purchased on 15 August 1833, in Jackson County to James Newberry, a member of the church, for eighty-five dollars. This land was located just west of Independence, Missouri. Where the other thirty acres were located is not clear, as there is no extant record of McLellin making another sale in late 1833 or early 1834. Part of the land may have been two lots off of Independence’s Main Street that McLellin had purchased in 1832 after moving to Jackson County. (Jackson Co., MO, Deed Records, 1827–1909, vol. C, p. 34, 14 Dec. 1833, microfilm 1,017,979, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 593; Jackson Co., MO, Deed Records, 1827–1909, vol. B, pp. 328–329, 15 Aug. 1833, microfilm 1,017,978, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; William E. McLellin, Jackson Co., MO, to Samuel McLellin, Carthage, TN, 4 Aug. 1832, in Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 83.)  


Bro. Joseph then  arose and said that he was going to Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
to assist in  redeeming it. He then called for the voice of the Council

A governing body of twelve high priests. The first high council was organized in Kirtland, Ohio, on 17 February 1834 “for the purpose of settling important difficulties which might arise in the church, which could not be settled by the church, or the bishop...

View Glossary
 to sanction his going which was given without a dissenting  voice. He then called for volunteers to go with him,  when some thirty or forty volunteered to go who were then present  at the council.10

Even though this meeting was a meeting of the high council, other church members apparently attended. At the formation of the high council on 17 February 1834, nine high priests, seventeen elders, four priests, and thirteen “private members” were present. High priests, elders, priests, teachers, and “private members” also attended a 19 February high council meeting. (Minutes, 17 Feb. 1834; Minutes, 19 Feb. 1834.)  


It was a question whether we should go by  water or by land, and after a short investigation it was  decided unanimously that we go by land.11

Because traveling by water was faster than traveling by land, it is unclear why the meeting attendees would have decided to travel by land. It is possible they made this decision in order to save money. A guidebook from the 1830s stated that to get from Cleveland to Cincinnati (presumably by water) would cost roughly four and a half to six cents per person per mile. Then, traveling from Cincinnati to Louisville by steamboat would cost three dollars, and from Louisville to St. Louis would cost twelve dollars per person. Such costs could be prohibitive, especially for a large group. In addition, an August 1831 revelation had told JS and a group of elders traveling from Independence to Kirtland that “there are many dangers upon the waters” and that “it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters but he that is upright in heart.” ([Baird], View of the Valley of the Mississippi, 363; Revelation, 12 Aug. 1831 [D&C 61:4, 16].)  


Joseph Smith Jun.  was nominated and seconded to be the Commander in Chief  of the Armies of Israel

A group of approximately 205 men and about 20 women and children led by JS to Missouri, May–July 1834, to redeem Zion by helping the Saints who had been driven from Jackson County, Missouri, regain their lands; later referred to as “Zion’s Camp.” A 24 February...

View Glossary
and the leader of those who volun teered to go and assist in the redemption of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
,12

An August 1833 article in the Painesville Telegraph hinted that the Mormons in Jackson County might be aided by a church military force: “We learn that some Davids or Goliaths are to be dispatched immediately by the prophet to the relief of the brethren in the wilderness.” William E. McLellin, who was living in Missouri at this time and who was not present at this high council meeting, later recounted that Lyman Wight “was fully imbued with the war spirit, and inspired Smith and company with the idea of redeeming Zion, viz the Church of Zion with men of War!!” (Report, Painesville [OH] Telegraph, 16 Aug. 1833, [3]; McLellin, “Some of My Thoughts in 1878,” [5], underlining in original.)  


and  carried by the vote of all present. Council then adjourned  by prayer and thanksgiveing.
Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
and)
C’lks.
Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
)
[p. 42]
Previous
On 24 February 1834, the Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, high council

A governing body of twelve high priests. The first high council was organized in Kirtland, Ohio, on 17 February 1834 “for the purpose of settling important difficulties which might arise in the church, which could not be settled by the church, or the bishop...

View Glossary
—formed just the week before1

See Historical Introduction to Revised Minutes, 18–19 Feb. 1834 [D&C 102].  


—met to hear a report from Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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and Lyman Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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about the condition of church members who had been driven from their homes in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, Missouri, in November 1833. Church leaders in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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had sent several letters to JS and others reporting on the attacks that had led to their expulsion and requesting guidance; JS replied with counsel concerning their situation and instructions to maintain ownership of their Jackson County lands.2 On 16–17 December 1833, JS dictated a revelation declaring that “Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
shall not be moved out of her place notwithstanding her children are scattered.” Through a parable of a nobleman and his vineyard, the revelation explained that “the strength of mine house which are my wariors my young men and they that are of middle age” were to “break down the walls of mine enemies th[r]ow down their tower and scatte[r] their watchmen,” thereby redeeming the Lord’s vineyard, or Zion.3

Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:17, 55–57].  


JS sent a copy of this revelation, along with other instructions, to Missouri church leaders on 22 January 1834.4
Before they received the December 1833 revelation, Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

More Info
church members held a conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

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in early January 1834, where they determined to send two individuals to Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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.5

William E. McLellin, who was likely present at this conference, later remembered the conference being held on 1 January 1834. (Larson and Passey, William E. McLellin Papers, 418.)  


Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

View Full Bio
and Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
volunteered. According to a later recollection of Pratt, the conference instructed them “to counsel with President Smith and the Church at Kirtland, and take some measures for the relief or restoration of the people thus plundered and driven from their homes.”6

Pratt, Autobiography, 114.  


As the body tasked with “settleing important difficulties which might arise in the church,”7 the Kirtland high council, over which JS presided, heard Pratt and Wight’s report on 24 February 1834. The two men also asked how and when church members would return to Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
. JS then declared his intention to travel to Missouri to assist in redeeming Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
, and between thirty and forty conference attendees volunteered to go with him.
JS may have volunteered to go to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

More Info
because of instructions given in a revelation dictated the same day as this high council meeting was held. That revelation specifically designated JS as the “servant” mentioned in the 16–17 December 1833 revelation who was supposed to raise the group that would redeem Zion. The revelation also instructed several individuals, including JS, Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

View Full Bio
, and Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
, to begin recruiting for the expedition and specified that the group should number at least one hundred and preferably five hundred individuals.8

Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103:21–22, 30, 37–40].  


It is not clear when on 24 February JS dictated the revelation, but if he did so before or during the high council meeting, JS would have had authority, given to him by the revelation, to assume the responsibility of commanding the expedition at the meeting.9

A later history of JS indicates the council was held after the revelation was dictated and does not provide any other contextual information. (JS History, vol. A-1, 437–441, addenda, 3nD.)  


JS could have also dictated the revelation after the council meeting; if so, the revelation would have confirmed the high council’s decisions made earlier that day. Regardless, just two days later, JS and the others designated in the revelation began recruiting additional volunteers to go to Missouri and eventually formed an expedition, known as the Camp of Israel

A group of approximately 205 men and about 20 women and children led by JS to Missouri, May–July 1834, to redeem Zion by helping the Saints who had been driven from Jackson County, Missouri, regain their lands; later referred to as “Zion’s Camp.” A 24 February...

View Glossary
, of more than two hundred individuals who traveled to Clay County

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

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, Missouri, in the summer of 1834.10

JS, Journal, 26–28 Feb. 1834; Pratt, Autobiography, 116–122; Minutes, 17 Mar. 1834; Backman, Profile, appendix E; Woodruff, Journal, 1 May 1834; Account with the Church of Christ, ca. 11–29 Aug. 1834.  


Facts